Castle Rock Relay for Life on horizon

Overnight event raises money for cancer research

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Local survivors, supporters and those still struggling will join together again to help raise money and awareness in the fight against cancer.

The Castle Rock Relay for Life will begin July 19 at 4 p.m. and go until 7 a.m. July 20 at the Douglas County Events Center, 500 Fairgrounds Road in Castle Rock.

Relay for Life is an organized, overnight community fundraising walk to raise money for the American Cancer Society and cancer research.

Teams of people camp out around a track while members of each team take turns walking around the track.

“We're so excited about this year's event and we just want to do everything we can to get the word out about Relay for Life and encourage people from around Castle Rock and Douglas County to come out and walk and help us raise money and awareness to help fight against this thing that affects so many of us,” said Pamela Orcutt, publicity chair for Castle Rock Relay for Life.

Relay for Life events take place nationwide and each features several signature segments.

During the Survivors Lap, all cancer survivors at the event take the first lap around the track, celebrating their victory over cancer while being cheered on by the other participants who line the track.

The Luminaria Ceremony takes place after dark, and is to remember people who have been lost to cancer, to honor people who have fought cancer in the past and support those whose fight continues. Candles are lit inside of personalized bags and are placed around the track as glowing tributes.

The Fight Back Ceremony inspires Relay participants to take action. The ceremony symbolizes the emotional commitment each person can make in the fight against cancer. The action taken represents "what we are willing to do for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for our community to fight cancer year-round and to commit to saving lives," the organization says.

Relay for Life got its start in May 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Wash., ultimately raising $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society.

A year later, 340 supporters joined the overnight event.

Since those first steps, the Relay for Life movement has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, raising nearly $5 billion to fight cancer.

For more information on donating and how to get involved, visit relayforlife.org.